Stein Homers Again But Hoosiers Fall To UC Riverside
Feb. 27, 2009
FULLERTON, Calif. - For the second time in as many games on Friday, catcher Brittany Stein provided all the offense for the Hoosiers, as she hit her third home run of the season. But the UC Riverside Highlanders scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning that ultimately put the game out of reach in their 6-1 victory over Indiana at the DeMarini Invitational hosted by Cal State Fullerton.
The Highlanders (3-9) manufactured a run in the top of the second inning off IU starting pitcher Alyssa Maiese (0-4) to take the 1-0 lead. Maiese went on to pitch the first 3.2 innings and allow four runs on six hits while striking out four and walking just two in taking the loss.
UC Riverside was back at it from the plate in the top of the fourth inning after a leadoff walk and a sacrifice bunt put a runner in scoring position. A single to right field scored the first run of the inning. Two more singles followed to load the bases with one out before the next batter hit a line drive at Indiana shortstop Stephanie Pellerito. Pellerito gloved the liner for the second out of the inning and looked the runners back to their respective bases with no play to be made. That would prove to be costly when the UC Riverside leadoff batter Tiana Towns singled in two more runs before Ashley Hobbs was brought in to record the final out of the inning and keep the score at 4-0 for the Highlanders.
Indiana (1-12) did waste any time trying to get back in the game in the bottom of the frame as Stein, the first batter of the inning, stepped in and drilled the ball over the fence in centerfield to cut the UC Riverside lead to 4-1.
The Hoosiers were in position to cut into the Highlander lead and even tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Heather Nelson reached on an error by the UCR shortstop, the third time she reached base from the leadoff spot in the order, and Kelli Ritchison followed with a single to left field, her first hit of the season. The two runners would advance 60 feet following a passed ball with Stein at the plate. This time the sophomore was unable to get the key hit and popped out to the shortstop for the first out of the inning. Sara Olson followed an coaxed a walk to load the bases for the pitcher Ashley Hobbs, who worked the count full before going down on strikes. Freshman Bridget Langan was called upon to pinch hit and put the ball in play with a sharp ground ball to second base that was fielded cleanly to retire the side and keep the Hoosiers off the board.
UC Riverside added its final two runs in the top of the seventh inning on an RBI single by Taylor Thomas.
Indiana will return to Anderson Family Field on the campus of Cal State Fullerton on Saturday for a 2:15 p.m. ET/ 11:15 a.m. PT matchup with the Auburn University Tigers. The Hoosiers will also play Oregon State at 6:45 p.m. ET/ 3:45 p.m. PT on Saturday.
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